Companies which operate under the business-to-business structure haven’t been quite so quick to embrace social media marketing as B2C companies have. However, there are an increasing number of indicators that B2B companies can properly employ social media to their advantage in a very real way. As an illustration of this point, let’s explore five different ways in which a B2B company can capture leads from Facebook:
Social Ad Targeting
Paid social ads are another great way to directly reach decision makers as a B2B company. Facebook allows an advertiser to be extremely specific about the nature of the audience they want to connect with. For example you can target them by interests, demographics, location, or any combination of filters you choose.
Paid advertising campaigns are often easy to compute ROI on, as evidenced by this simple guide to Facebook Ad ROI by Hubspot; making them an excellent choice for nearly any business to experiment with. They are also usually quite scalable, based on current trends, making it easy to adjust based on the circumstances your business is currently experiencing.
Targeted Niche Prizes
The giveaway prize is another tried and true feature of promotion and marketing, and one that B2B companies are uniquely positioned to take advantage of. Since you presumably know your niche target quite well, why not invest in a prize that will really appeal to them? Instead of a generic prize like a gift card, consider a Chromecast if you are targeting IT managers, or a set of golf clubs when targeting CEOs. Get creative, get personal, and watch them get interested.
This level of detail and attention is also ensure that people remember your company even after the giveaway or promotion is over, which can make all the difference next time you interact with them. One of the best, most memorable gifts I received from an online contest was a free T-Shirt. Just for entering the contest with my address and phone number, I was shipped a free, random, T-Shirt from Mailchimp. Although Mailchimp is a tool most used by small businesses and marketers in general, they targeted me the decision maker in their ad campaign.
Which leads to my next point:
Appeal Directly to Decision Makers
“Perhaps the most powerful benefit that Facebook offers B2B organizations is the ability to bypass corporate gatekeepers, and open a dialogue between your organization and the decision makers you are trying to connect with,” according to Zach Mangum, co-founder of GroSocial. “It lets you cut directly to the chase and present your pitch without needing to deal with layers of corporate red tape”. Once a personal relationship has been established between your company and a decision maker elsewhere, you essentially have free access to that person’s attention in the future.
Leverage Industry Connections
Almost every business person who employs social media uses it to help maintain a network of Facebook friends, acquaintances, and peers in their own fields as well as others. Being able to tap into this peer-to-peer sharing has incredible potential for most B2B organizations.
Consider adapting your customer relationship management software to also account for important notes on industry movers and shakers as well as customers themselves. Salesforce, for instance, has a free module on the app exchange that tracks those connections on Facebook as well as Twitter.
So while there are definitely some differences in the way B2B businesses should approach and employ social media compared to the way B2C companies handle things, they can still definitely reap significant benefits. Remember, 20 well-targeted entrants into your sales funnel will provide better sales results than 2000 generic entrants. Business-to-business companies simply need to focus their message and attention on their specific niche and demographic rather than trying to broadcast their message far and wide.
Don’t feel limited to these practices, either. In fact, they barely begin to scratch the tip of the iceberg in terms of creative marketing tactics. Viral video is obviously one driver of major traffic on all social media platforms. Click bait pieces such as clever infographics, great art, or even eBooks can also be huge sources of success for the firm savvy enough to be able to consistently create successful pieces on an ongoing basis. The possibilities are limited only by the number of your creative ideas.
What can we take away from all this? In large part, the important thing is for B2B companies to realize that they have real opportunities to leverage their participation on social media into actual revenue. The idea that only B2C companies can benefit from social media is an outdated one, that doesn’t reflect the reality of their position or embrace any of the unique advantages B2B companies are able to derive from the medium.
Image credits: All images in this post are screenshots taken from this infographic by GroSocial. Used with permission, no affiliation.